DES MOINES, IOWA (AP) – One teenager was killed and two others were critically wounded after gunfire that appeared to come from a passing vehicle struck them outside an Iowa school, authorities said.
Des Moines police said in a news release on Monday that potential suspects have been detained in the shooting on the grounds of East High School, near Des Moines’ downtown, about a half mile, from the Capitol. No charges were immediately filed.
Sgt Paul Parizek told KCCI-TV that calls started pouring in around 2.50pm on Monday, shortly before classes were scheduled to dismiss for the day.
Police didn’t identify those shot but said a 15-year-old male had died. He was not a student at East.
The other two shot were females aged 16 and 18, who both attend East. They were hospitalised in critical condition. The district said in a news release that the school was immediately put into lockdown and students were kept inside while police investigated.
They were dismissed around 3.30pm after law enforcement gave an all clear.
Principal Jill Versteeg described what happened as “everyone’s worst nightmare” and urged parents to “hug your students and love them”.
Superintendent Thomas Ahart said school shootings have “become too common” and said that “Real change to gun laws and access would go a long way to help us”.
“Our staff and students,” he said, “are forced to train for these incidents and the trauma associated with the repeated drills and incidents will remain with them for years to come.
It’s unfortunate that our state and our country have become a place where firearms are far too easily accessible”.